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At San Sebastian

 The Countess sprawled beside the sea
As naked a she well could be;
Indeed her only garments were
A "G" string and a brassière
Her washerwoman was amazed,
And at the lady gazed and gazed, -
From billowy-bosom swell
To navel like a pink sea shell.
The Countess has of robes three score, She doffs and leaves them on the floor; She changes gowns ten times a ay, Her chambermaid puts them away.
"How funny!" thinks the washer-wife; "I've toiled and toiled throughout my life, And only have, to hide my skin, This old rag that I'm standing in.
" The Countess never toiled at all; She begged for coin when she was small, And later, in the ancient fashion, In gay resorts she peddled passion.
| But now to noble rank arrived, (Tom wed the old Count she contrived) Her youthful lover, lounging there, Is hirsute as a teddy-bear.
The Countess will be honoured when She dies past three-score years and ten.
The washer-women will wear out With labour fifty years about .
Yet as the two look at each other The Countess thinks: "So was my mother; And washer-wife to live and die, But for God's grace so would be I.

Poem by Robert William Service
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